Posts Tagged ‘Natural History’

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Lessons in Public Health

Today, the planet is taking a crash course on the limitations of modern medicine and the complications of human disease. It is a good time to look back and see what Saranac Lake’s history might teach us about public health.

From our place in the world of modern medicine and science, it can be easy to see healthcare in the past as quackery. Many visitors to the museum skeptically ask, “Was there anything to it? Was there any benefit to the Saranac Lake treatment?”

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Adirondack Wildlife: The Flying Squirrels

In the days prior to and immediately following a full moon, there is often enough light in the hours after sunset for a person to meander along a well established woodland trail without the aid of a flashlight. By walking slowly and quietly, one can occasionally detect a small gray squirrel rustling about the dead leaves on the forest floor, climbing up a large trunk, or moving along the limb of a tree. While most squirrels strongly prefer to be active during the light of day, the flying squirrel favors the darkness of night and is the most common nocturnal tree dwelling mammal within the Park.

The flying squirrel is characterized by a loose fold of skin, called a patagium that extends from it front and hind legs and connects to its sides. This thin, furry membrane acts as a wing or airfoil when the animal stretches its appendages outward and enables it to glide forward as it slowly descends after leaping from a tree. The wide and flat tail of this rodent provides additional lift and greatly helps an airborne individual alter its flight path so it can accurately land at a selected spot. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Astronomy: The June Adirondack Night Sky

Here are some objects for the unaided eye for the month of June. All of these objects, although small, should be visible without the help of binoculars or a telescope, so long as you have clear dark skies.

Light pollution is a killer for seeing these objects with your unaided eye. To find out how dark your location is, use the Google Map Overlay of light pollution. If you are in a blue, gray or black area then you should have dark enough skies. Planets and the moon can be seen in red, and orange zones.

You can find help locating the night sky objects listed below by using one of the free sky charts at Skymaps.com (scroll down to Northern Hemisphere Edition and click on the PDF for June 2012). The map shows what is in the sky in June at 10 pm for early June; 9 pm for late June.

If you are not familiar with what you see in the night sky, this is a great opportunity to step outside, look up, and begin learning the constellations. The sky is beautiful and filled with many treasures just waiting for you to discover them. Once you have looked for these objects go through the list again if you have a pair of binoculars handy, the views get better!

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Astronomy: The May Adirondack Night Sky

Here are some objects for the unaided eye for the month of May. All of these objects, although small, should be visible without the help of binoculars or a telescope, so long as you have clear dark skies.

Light pollution is a killer for seeing these objects with your unaided eye. To find out how dark your location is, use the Google Map Overlay of light pollution. If you are in a blue, gray or black area then you should have dark enough skies. You may still be able to see some of these objects in a green location. Snow will add more light pollution due to light reflecting off of it.

» Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!